problems, pespectives

2001, Volume 1, Issue 1, p. 12-15

Eka Chkonia

 Department of Psychiatry of Tbilisi State Medical University

The Peculiarities of Language Impairment in Schizophrenic Patients


The study was aimed at the investigation of the language impairment features in schizophrenic patients and their possible reasons, hence the goals of our research were to reveal which language functions were impaired in schizophrenic patients and how they were influenced by the duration of the disorder, institutionalization and educational level.
78 schizophrenic patients  and a control group were examined by means of neurolinguistic tests.
1.The unstableness of nominative function (word meaning) emerges already in the initial stage of schizophrenia. The network of word meaning is restricted and disintegrated.
2. Institutionalization impacts the language functions due to the social isolation and hence the fact that the patients have no motivation to speak. The nomination process, vocabulary and reading skills are especially impacted.
3. The educational level influences nominative function, sentence producing process and vocabulary  in schizophrenic patients, but not in the control group.
Both semantic network (word meaning) and syntactic complexity (sentence producing) are impaired in schizophrenic patients. They are not able to use prior knowledge for carrying out tests. Longtime hospitalization deteriorates the language functions (e.g., fluency, nomination, complexity properties) to schizophrenic patients.